LUSBY, Md. – The Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG terminal has begun a scheduled maintenance and inspection outage. One of the initial actions is to depressurize systems and equipment used to produce liquefied natural gas, in preparation for servicing them. Inert nitrogen gas is used to purge the systems and equipment of hydrocarbon gases and make them safe to service.
In accordance with Maryland environmental regulations, the hydrocarbon gases undergo controlled combustion in a process called “flaring,” which takes place within an isolated area on the plant site. This purging and flaring occur at the start of the outage and at the end.
During the Sept. 22 weekend, the flaring process temporarily produced a strong, harmless odor usually associated with natural gas that has been odorized to aid in leak detection and repair. Maintenance activities during this outage, which is scheduled to last about three weeks, may cause the odor to briefly occur at times. Dominion Energy Cove Point regrets the inconvenience.
The flaring process is carefully monitored and the site gas detection systems are functioning normally to protect the safety and health of the public and the employees. Calvert County emergency preparedness organizations are aware of this occurrence.